Jun 1, 2017


OK, first things first.

I've had a lot of questions about whether or not my downsizing is the result if me reading the Tidy book.  (I think it has something to do about getting rid of every single thing you own and being able to carry your life's possessions in your purse or something.)

(All I know if that if I see the word "minimalism" one more time, I'm going to run screaming for the nearest Targets to buy more...stuff.)

I value my stuff.  Sorry.  There it is.  I know that I'm supposed to tell you that I value things that can't be  seen or felt, or obtained, etc etc etc, but...I have stuff.  And I value it.  I'm not a hoarder or a clutter worshipper or a compulsive shopper.  I run my household on a very tight and responsible budget (with coopuns and everything) and every now and then I allow myself a little splurge (like the new striped tennis shoes that I fished out of the clearance bin for $7 a year and a half ago). I buy needlework and crafty things and the occasional piece of frippery that blows my skirt up, but I also enjoy...and I mean really savor...each and every new treasure completely.

Clothes, shoes, jewelry...not my thing.  And considering my advanced age, neither are gadgets or accessories or the latest cool trend. I am a homebody.  I enjoy my little space and try my best to make it comfy and happy and practical.

So while I am enjoying the feeling of "lightening up" that's coming as each day passes and I get ready to transition from the house to the apartment, I'm trying to be mindful that yes, it is indeed only stuff, but it's stuff that helps make my life complete.

I've been sharing this whole packing extravaganza with y'all as a way to cope, I suppose.  And although it's nice to hear that I'm so positive, or brave, or organized, I think it's important to be honest enough to tell you that this bleepity-bleep-bleep is hard, and I can promise you that I don't want to do it again anytime soon.

This move is but a bit of a life diversion for me.  A major change of circumstance that will hopefully lead to my ability to start the next act.  In my head, this is a five year journey.  A new place to lay my head, a new kidney, a new career path, and then an eventual new beginning.  (Who knows?  Maybe it will also mean a new companion...canine or otherwise).  

I wish I could lay claim to that whole diversion thing, but it comes from my Senior Essay writing professor Dr. Cronin.  Dr. Cronin was a Joyce scholar, and on one particularly fraught afternnon (during which I was kvetching about having to re-think the direction of my thesis) he said "Coni, my dear, do you know that in Ireland we do not have such things as detours?  We call them diversions, to remind us that although the path of the journey may have changed, the view is still quite grand."

So here I am on my diversion.  Armed with half my wits and rolls and rolls of packing tape.  

I spent almost the entire morning at CS2... getting the keys, walking through the rules and regulations, and measuring each and every square inch of it.  I sat in each room (all four if them!) and thought about what would go where and how I hoped to spend my time there laughing and stitching and blogging and reading and cooking and dreaming.  The sun came in the windows and the birds were sweetly tweeting, so it was time well spent indeed.

Stewey was absolutly along for the ride, by the way, but you'll be happy to know that I waited for the leasing agent to depart before I pulled his little box out of my bag. 

I think both he and I are going to be very happy there.

(But I can't have a long hot soak in the tub there until I lose a few more pounds and strengthen my left arm.  It's a traditioinally shaped tub (long and narrow) and opens to the left.  My current tub is wide enough for me to maneuver in such a way that I kind of roll onto my right side and push off with my arm....not possible in this one.  I was going to try it out today (a dry run), but was afraid that I would have gotten stuck in there!  Oh, holey schmoley.  Can you imagine the blog post after THAT one?!)

So that's the report for today my dearies.  Tomorrow is book packing and laundry day.  


I swear it to be true.

Hope your needles are flying!  Mine might make an appearance this evening.  I don't want to go too terribly long between stitches, or this head of mine is sure to run amok! 


  1. Good for you! I get it. I like my house and my stuff. It's comfortable and makes me feel good.

    Take your time packing and don't wear yourself out. Btw...on your dry run in the tub...have Miss Charlene there or someone with you and try rolling to your knees not just your side.

  2. Sounds like a very rewarding day. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder if your journey is really about self-awareness. In any case, I truly believe you are 'on schedule'. Love, hugs and prayers, Cathryn ♥

  3. Coni, you are doing great. I to believe that moving and painting are pains in the arse. I told myself after I moved a lot in my 20's I was going to find a place and stay there. As I get older I realized that I only use about 4 rooms in my home and I don't need a big place, just have my stuff around me. Keep truckin' as they use to say. The diversion and view quote I just love, thanks for that!

  4. Dear Coni, I watched my mom struggle, really struggle, to cope with downsizing. It is so recent, so it is very fresh in my mind. Sometimes you just have to, well, have a good cry and do some mourning. It's ok. It's a process. Mom was not a hoarder, and abhorred clutter, too. Still it was difficult to let go. And it took a little while, but now mom and dad are quite happy with their smaller space, and the "less stuff to worry about", and just earlier this week mom remarked that it was so much easier with less to manage. I hope you will find that to be true too, but most of all, know that diversions, transitions, change, are big deals and you are entitled to find it quite f******* difficult. And you already know, one day at a time. Prayers continue.

  5. I liken value with appreciation and comfort. It falls into both things and people/relationships. It's when that line is crossed to hoarding and covet that problems arise. You are certainly in the first category. When we lost our home of fifteen years that was over 3000 sq feet I had a definite adjustment to letting go. I could have written your exact words - it's just stuff but it's my stuff and it's hard to let go. Fortunately for us our new 1425 sq ft home had a garage. Like a knuckle head I moved way too much into that garage. I didn't covet it but I was attached to it most certainly. After a few months round one went out of the garage to find its new destiny. The king sized poster bed I had waited my whole life to own went wall to wall in the bedroom. You could not open the closet at all. What was i truly thinking? But I had to work through that. As time progressed and we settled more and more went. Today we are settled in and very happy with far far less in a way smaller spot. It's a process Connie. It's mental and physical. Take your time and walk through it. It's good that you can reflect and do this. We had 8 days total to get out and the bank padlocked the property. Would not even allow us in to get very personal mitems knowing full well my husband was in hospital and I was moving every night after work. Those things are now gone forever. While it still hurts to know my journals since age 12 to that date and all my husbands tools were there, we haven't missed any of the rest of it!! We are all praying for you and reading daily to share in this journey. You are loved and we care about your true feelings. Thanks for staying so open and true.

  6. I have a lot of stuff- therefore I am!

  7. Coni dear you are really quite organized. I've a 3 bedroom house & a smallish barn full of stuff. Some of it I truly want & need the rest I rather it was donated or tossed. I've a bookshelf full of quilting magazines going back to the 1970's. I should scan the few patterns I want & donate the rest.
    One day at a time darlin.

  8. We all talk about downsizing and it actually does feel good, when we're ready. It's totally understandable that you want your comforts and valued surroundings to be a constant, since so many other things will be changing. And get a safety rail installed on that tub!

  9. I was downsized when I moved 900 miles away from my childhood home at the age of 61. This house is considerably smaller than the one I left behind, but then there is only 1/4 the people living here...just me! My daughter who moved up here with me insisted I get rid of a lot of stuff and I think she did a lot of the getting rid of in secret, because every so often, I need something I know I had at one point in my life, but I'll be derned if I can find it!
    Now at 64, I am thinking there are things here that even I cannot think of a perfectly good use for and I want to rid myself of the excess, but I really don't know where to even begin purging. My middle daughter (who moved up here long before I did and understands there are things that are to be treasured) has offered to help me go through things a little at a time, purge and replace the items in appropriate places. I am moving rooms around. I have a loft and after I have real stairs installed (as opposed to the ridiculous spiral staircase), I will be moving my sewing room up there. I am scared, but yet I am excited for the change. I move myself about every 15 - 20 years...I'm thinking this is the last stop, don't want to pack ever again!

  10. In major Life Events, moving is up there with losing a job, divorce and death. It's that hard to pull up roots and start all over in a new place. When you get to your new place, it will become plain what will fit and what will not; it will be easier to pick and choose as you settle in. I've used my moves to get rid of things that are worn, stained, and I just don't love any more, so I can start into the new place with nice things that I enjoy. It's hard enough to make all the changes you have to in a new spot; I figure I'm going need all the happy I can get. And thread-bare towels and dinged up old pans are not going to cut the mustard.

  11. You go ahead and keep whatever your heart desires.
    After all, it makes you happy, and that's what it's all about. :)

  12. Glad you enjoyed your visit to CS2.0! I think the preparation for moving is awful, but I think you are doing well with yours. I really like the diversion quote you shared. Have an enjoyable Friday, Coni! Thinking of you!

  13. Coni, you described my life perfectly. I like my "stuff", it makes me happy and when I downsized, I knew I had to be "practical", but it didn't make all my decisions easy ones. But there is the other side and you'll get there. I absolutely LOVE the diversion quote - me thinks someone should chart that for all of crafty stitchers to stitch and put up on our walls. All of us have had our share of diversions and that's a lovely way to make them wonderful!

  14. Whatever makes you happy, Coni! I am a homebody too, and I just know that if I had to move, which may happen sooner than I'd like, most everything of mine is coming with me! I have a sibling who likes to make me sound like a hoarder but I'm nowhere like those on TV! I'm glad you and Stewey are seeing some happiness in the new place. A wonderful weekend to you.

  15. If it gives you joy...now...or continues to give you joy,
    so be it. If there is any smidgeon of regret, sadness or
    anxiety attached to it...purge. Surround yourself with joy and beauty and even if it is a fraction of what was, it will continue to bring you comfort in its essence. I
    loved your visit to CS2 and what you were able to discern there. Yes, a diversion, but the view from your insightful
    perspective seems promising. Would it not be grand if all
    tubs manufactured from now on would be the walk-in type..
    with reclining seat?...or is that being too much?

  16. Oh dear I am so glad I get to chuckle with you every day. I feel much the same as you about your things. I hate getting rid of anything but when I do I feel much better, most of the time, but it is such a process getting to that get rid of decision. And I am so looking forward to seeing what CS2 looks like!

  17. The best part about being an adult (if there is a best part at our age) is that you do not have to answer to anyone but yourself. I can't imagine how hard this must all be for you, kid, but you are making it through with grace and finesse...even though they are often hard to muster. You are one Steadfast Soldier, just pace yourself so that you don't stumble when day is done :)